Is Your Library Disaster Ready?


Take the test.  Answer Yes or No to the 15 elements of a library at a state of disaster readiness listed below.  How many times did you respond with a Yes?  Want a better score?  Our training program can create a disaster readiness culture in your library.  In addition, we can help you become part of your community’s emergency planning strategy by connecting you with emergency planners. Want more information? Contact Dan Wilson, Coordinator, NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response Initiative, at 434-924-0193 or  You may also contact your regional NN/LM library at 1-800-DEV-ROKS.

Here are some libraries we’ve worked with in the past year:
Washington County Free Library (Maryland)
West Deptford Public Library (New Jersey)
Eastern Shore Regional Library (Maryland)
New Jersey State Library

  1.  We have a response station that includes posted response procedures and ready access to tools (e.g., flashlights, first aid kit, bullhorn, plastic, battery operated radio, etc.) for handling an emergency
  2. We have a one page Service Continuity Disaster Plan that is updated at least quarterly
  3. We have identified shelter-in-place location(s) for tornadoes, shooter, HAZMAT incidents
  4. We have a communications plan that incorporates redundancy of communication (such as what to do if cell phones don’t work) and procedures for updating website, Facebook, and/or Twitter. 
  5. We practice situation awareness reporting (What, When, and Where) before, during, and after a service disruption
  6. We have a disaster team
  7. We perform at least one evacuation drill per year.
  8. We take part in at least two table-top exercises per year (one for a planned incident and one for an unplanned incident)
  9. Our core print materials are easily available if power is down or internet is compromised.
  10. The servers that house core online resources are on extended or unlimited emergency power.
  11. We have a Mutual Aid Agreement with another library to assist us in the delivery of core services
  12. We have a partnership (contract not required) with a commercial salvage and recovery company (e.g., Belfor, BMS, Munters) for recovery of valuable and hard to replace materials
  13. All our disaster team members know the importance of 72-hour preparedness
  14. We conduct an After-action Review within 7 days of a service disruption
  15. We have regular contact with emergency planners
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